In all his 150 years as dragon, sexy, handsome Crown Prince Alexander d’Mateo de Drakon Tremaine has been treated with privilege and respect. And then he met a half-blood who turned his world upside down and made him see life in a new light. Alex would do anything for Emma, even fight to the last drop of his royal blood to keep her safe. But they can never be more than friends, for Alex is destined to marry and mate with a princess from a rival clan to unite their two kingdoms.
Half-blood dragon Emma Kantris is servant to Alex’s intended, and she knows his marriage will mean much-needed change for both dragon clans. Through his union with Princess Sabrina, Alex can finally eradicate the hated caste system that suppresses Emma and other half-bloods. Secretly, her heart longs for Alex, the dashing prince who has been a friend when all others deserted her, even though Emma has been warned to stay away. But when Emma is abducted by her enemies, it’s Alex who’s off to rescue her, and in doing so he may pay a price that could endanger them both…
She was dragon, and had fought every step of the way for what little she had. No parents to assist her, few friends within her own clan.
Only Sabrina, bless her, who understood her thirst for knowledge and desire to improve her status through reading.
But the damnable caste system in Clan Ciamoth could not be changed.
Still, Alex was here, with her now. In a brothel, and he had purchased her body. Taking a break from the bracelet, for her wrist was chafed and hurt, she stared at Alex. Emma licked her lips, studying his very nice buttocks as he knelt on the seat cushion to wrap his hand and test the bars again.
Khaki material stretched over the twin globes, cupping them tight. She wondered what it would feel like to cup his ass, to squeeze and knead that smooth skin as he lay atop her, and joined his muscled body to hers…
Alex, nude in bed with her. Arousal filled her, the wicked thoughts that haunted her long, lonely nights. He was strictly off limits, especially now after the warning from her attackers, but a girl could still dream.
"Is it true what they say about male dragons?" Em tried to avoid looking at Alex's rather large, elegant hands and his long fingers.
He turned from the iron bars. "What?"
"That if a dragon's middle claw, er, finger, is longer than his ring finger, it means he is, ah, endowed. At least an inch longer."
"You know." Em pointed to her crotch.
He burst into laughter. "Em, that's a myth."
"Oh." Heat suffused her chest and neck. She felt silly for bringing it up, but one of the girls in the basement had said it was true.
Alex held up his right hand. The middle finger was considerably longer than his ring finger. "It's two inches, not one."
"Oh. Ohhhh." Now the blush spread like wildfire across her face.
A wicked grin touched his full, handsome face. "Would you like to see the evidence?"
"Um, that's okay." She rose off the bed and went to the table that held fruit and a pitcher of ice water to pour herself a glass. She drank deeply and set the glass down. It was getting hot in here. Too hot.
He took his polo shirt and studied the black marks magick had left behind on the knit fabric. Powerful magick indeed. The darkest kind. He put the shirt back on.
"I'd offer to launder that for you, but I'm afraid I don't know where the washing machines are."
"Em." Alex twisted the gold signet ring on his left pinkie. He always did that when thinking. Maybe the ring was hard-wired to his gray matter. "This is serious."
"Don't I know it? I'm trapped here in a brothel, you bought me for the night and I don't even know if they have my favorite pasta here or cable. I'm kinda out of luck. Plus I lost my phone. I hate it when I lose my phone. How am I supposed to tweet now? I was so looking forward to posting on Instagram and Facebook that I'd been dragon-napped and I was at a brothel, forced to wear a harem outfit and learn to like grapes and cheap wine."
Crossing the room, he enfolded her into his arms. "You're shaking."
Like a leaf in the wind, but no need to tell him that. Even if she could disguise her fear with jokes, he could detect her scent. Dragons were excellent at sniffing out fear.
It made prey all the easier to track down, and kill.
She lifted her head and saw him staring down at her. "I'm not going to hurt you, Em," he said quietly.
"Or eat me?"
The question was a hoarse whisper, though she'd intended it to be light and teasing. Alex's mouth quirked in a slight smile.
"Not for dinner."
But she caught his racing pulse, his dilated eyes and heard the heavy beat of his heart. "Maybe for… dessert. With whipped cream and a cherry on top."
"No need for a cherry. You did buy a virgin, you know."
His beautiful blue-green eyes widened to dinner plates. "Em…"
She cut in, not wanting to pursue that particular thread. "Alex, remember last year when you and I snuck into the Trolling & Strolling strip club because you left your wallet there after that bachelor party, and you saw the python in the stripper's dressing room and you realized how hungry you were… because the strip club offered only cheese and crackers and hard liquor…and you ate him?"
"And I had to grab your wallet and the manager saw us and shifted into a grizzly bear and threatened to bite your balls off? Remember how scared I was?"
"This is worse." She swallowed hard. "Much worse. I'm trying hard to pretend this is all a nightmare or a dream, because you are here and it's a dream to be with you, but I'm so scared I feel like my heart's jumping out of my chest."
He smoothed back a tendril of hair from her cheek. "Em, I'm here. I will not let anything happen to you."